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WikiProject Chemistry (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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I don't understand the sentence about the usage of the word detergent at the beginning of the article - how is it used in conjunction with 'soap'? rape my cat 123

Vague and poorly documented[edit]

This article seems to me to be somewhere between fanciful conjecture and wild guessing. I'm new to wikipedia (as a member) and know very little about detergent anyways; else I would edit the article to something more coherent myself. Won't someone from Dawn or Cascade show Wikipedia some love? Akamos 05:09, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

I deleted the section "Ecological impact of use", because the existing material was trivial and vapid. However, it is a good subject on which to write some substantial material, which I don't have time for now. 03:18, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I am confused about the two words of detergent and cleaning agent. Are they same in meaning or what's the relationship and what are the differences between them. For example, the word "liquid detergent" vs the word "liquid cleaning agent"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:17, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

(.)(.) :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:58, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, "detergent" as a noun is synonymous with "cleaning agent", and as an adjective synonymous with "cleaning". (talk) 04:40, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

To add a little science to the page of conjecture: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but the "little science" above misses the mark. It actually classifies surfactants, the category of which is frequently confused with detergents. Surfactants have their own wikipedia entry. Detergents can (although they don't all) contain or be entirely composed of surfactant(s), but surfactants are not all detergents. (talk) 02:28, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

A native speaker's intuition[edit]

Words mean what a sufficient number of native speakers believe them to mean. As a native speaker of American English, to me “detergent” has always meant “a cleaning agent used in a machine, such as clothes washer or a dishwasher.” On the other hand “dishwashing soap” is for washing dishes by hand. I'd be curious to know how many other native speakers of English use the word the same way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bostoner (talkcontribs) 01:12, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

In my (american) chemical dictonary: Lewis (1993). Lewis, Richard J., ed. Condensed Chemical Dictonary (12 ed.). New York, USA: Van Nostrand Reinhold. p. 357. ISBN 0-442-01131-8.  a detergent is "any substance that reduces the surface tension of water, specifically a surface active agent which concentrates at oil-water interfaces, exerts emulsifying action, and thus aids in removal of soils". --Langbein Rise (talk) 07:47, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Second the first unsigned comment, and believe LR's response supports the assertion. Detergent goes in household machines; soap goes on skin. -- TheEditrix2 23:10, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Proper use of the word[edit]

Could we get the section "Detergents in Biochemistry and Biotechnology" out of there and into the entry on surfactants? Just because some suppliers' catalogs list these non-cleaning fine chemicals as "detergents", does that mean we have to describe them as such? As I told the salesman from Calbiochem, "Detergent is what you mop the floor with." Doing biochemical manipulations is not cleaning! (talk) 02:50, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Ppm=parts per million[edit]

Hi. "Parts per million" redirects to "parts per notation". However, in the text, ppm stands for "parts per million" (number of parts of X per million parts of Y). For the reader wondering what "ppm" stands for, merely hovering over the link will indicate that it stands for "parts per million", whereas if the text says "parts per notation", the reader will have to click through to go read about it. Besides, "notation" is merely the generic place-holder for million/ billion/ trillion etc. Um abraco, Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 01:25, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Changed [Parts per million]] to Parts per million#Parts-per_expressions A little better, perhaps Jim1138 (talk) 23:06, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Quality of entry[edit]

Start class, huh? All I know is, this entry had a lot more encyclopedic content before Smokefoot got his hands on it. "Detergent" means a lot broader class of materials than is covered now. Look back a couple years. I think the article could be a lot more thorough if people just added back sections and details it used to have. (talk) 07:04, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Here [[1]] is the edit where the big contraction of the article occurred. There is also an article on laundry detergents that I got my hands on too. If you have suggestions where damage was done or where improvements can be made, I'd be glad to help. Thanks for taking the time to say something.--Smokefoot (talk) 13:34, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Question of safety[edit]

Many concerns are raised as to the safety of detergents. It will be a welcome improvement when such consideration is added to the article. Widespread and increasing use of det. is now seen by many as a sinister threat to human health, since some (WHICH??) det. act as xenohormones and are easily absorbed by human skin from the residue after washing clothes. Leftovers eventually washed into oceans join other hormone-like substances (especially women's contraceptives) creating lasting and disturbing changes in marine life; this, again, translated into contamination of human food resources. It is a worthwhile issue, and, perhaps, an urgent one. BTW There is no mention of these phenomena in the article about hormones, and the entry about xenohormones has been deleted with re-direction to the article about general biotoxicity; I understand that it potentially involves political implications since so much money is made on detergents. This might call for cautious and detatched rhetoric in any such contribution. (talk) 11:53, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

You might be referring to laundry detergents, where some of your concerns are discussed.--Smokefoot (talk) 12:42, 4 June 2015 (UTC)